Neuraminic acid was known first as sialic acid

Neuraminic acid, or sialic acid as it was first called, is a monosaccharide with nine carbons. It has a negative electric charge which gives compounds containing it a negative charge. This is useful for keeping molecules like red blood cells from getting too near to each other. The negative charge on the surface glycoproteins repels the red blood cells from each other or from the walls of blood vessels which also have compounds containing sialic acid.

Mature red blood cells have an active life for about seven days.  White blood cells remove older red blood cells and de-sialylation of the surface proteins is one way the older cells are identified. Cancer cells with the ability to produce excess surface sialyation may have an increased chance to metastasize and turn up somewhere else in the body. [13]

Our bodies need to be healthy and well enough nourished overall to keep the whole system working. The neuraminic acid is produced within our cells from other chemicals in a series of membranous channels called the endoplasmic reticulum and the golgi apparatus. The channels have embedded enzymes along the way somewhat like an assembly line in a factory. We can not just eat more sialic acid in our diet and have it show up on our cell surfaces – we have to be healthy enough and well enough nourished over all in order to be able to manufacture our own supply of sialic acid. All of the different enzymes within the assembly line like system of the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus would have to be present and working which would mean trace minerals such as zinc might be essential for producing neuraminic acid/sialic acid.

Therapeutic glycoproteins are being developed and the problem of just the right amount of sialylation is one of the hurdles being studied. [2] In addition to the negative charge sialic acid tends to stabilize and stiffen the protein portion of the glyco-compound.  The proteins that line vessels were described to be somewhat like bottle-brushes; the protein being somewhat like the sturdy wire handle of the brush and with the negatively charged sialic acid acting as bristles that electrically repel other molecules of sialic acid. [1]

/This article was originally posted on 8/21/2013./ /Disclaimer: Information presented on this site is not intended as a substitute for medical care and should not be considered as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment by your physician./

More recent research from the scientists at the University of Zurich, regarding sialic acid, found an association between the presence of autoimmune disease and reduced levels of sialic acid on the individual’s antibodies, which are important for the body’s immune cells to be able to recognize and remove infected or foreign or decaying cells: “Specific Sugar in Antibodies Structure Determines the Risk of Autoimmune Diseases,” Oct. 7, 2015, [molecularbiologynews.org]

References:

  1. S.A. Brooks, M. V. Dwek, U. Schumacher, Functional and Molecular Glycobiology, (BIOS Scientific Publishers, Ltd., 2002), Amazon.
  2. Bork K, Horstkorte R, Weidemann W., “Increasing the sialylation of therapeutic glycoproteins: the potential of the sialic acid biosynthetic pathway.” J Pharm Sci. 2009 Oct;98(10):3499-508. doi: 10.1002/jps.21684.  [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  3. R. T. Almaraz, et. al., “Metabolic Flux Increases Glycoprotein Sialylation: Implications for Cell Adhesion and Cancer Metastasis.” Mol Cell Proteomics. 2012 July; 11(7): M112.017558. Published online 2012 March 28. doi:  10.1074/mcp.M112.017558 [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]

 

Screening and testing for intra-cellular pathogens

An important sentence in my last post could have been entered in a longest sentence contest and so I would like to separate the sections and go into more detail:

“But to me it would be great if more experts and more individuals did become interested in looking into the information and maybe add further understanding and research,

and then maybe sooner than later we would  develop a national blood and organ supply that is tested for intra-cellular infectious pathogens;

and develop clear guidance about the importance of measuring both hormone D and vitamin D levels

in order to clearly see which patients are actually deficient in both the vitamin and hormone forms and would therefore need to increase their sun exposure or their intake of vitamin D

and which patients actually have elevated hormone D levels instead of being deficient.

Low vitamin D levels with elevated hormone D levels may suggest the person has an underlying infection with an intra-cellular pathogen and that person would actually benefit more by limiting their sun exposure and their intake of vitamin D – and they might be able to treat the underlying infection with Benicar and antibiotics.” [last post]

A few steps might be necessary for implementing this section: “and then maybe sooner than later we would  develop a national blood and organ supply that is tested for intra-cellular infectious pathogens;” The first step is for the medical and academic communities to admit that intra-cellular infectious pathogens have been found that can cause acute or chronic illness. Research scientists and medical professionals can put their careers at risk if they work on alternative theories instead of working on widely accepted theories. and funding for research regarding alternative topics is unlikely to be available.

Autoimmune disease was suggested to be a normal part of aging in a college textbook that I looked at within the last few years – I don’t remember the title or have the link but I was very sad to find that information in a current academic text. If autoimmune disease is part of aging then why would Rheumatoid Arthritis have a juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis version? Why would a mother have RA and have a four year old child with juvenile RA – did the child age very rapidly or could RA be passed from mother to child during pregnancy? And more importantly, might they both go into remission if they were to take Benicar and antibiotics while avoiding vitamin D and sun exposure? That mother with RA who knows first hand how much pain her child with RA is likely to experience might really like to know that a cause and effective treatment may have been discovered.

Currently the treatments that are commonly used for RA are immune suppressing drugs which can have severe side effects. Some of the drugs are also used in chemotherapy.  Immune suppressing drugs are used in autoimmune  disease because much of the damage that is caused over time is due to overactive white blood cells. However if the overactive white blood cells are doing their best to try to find an underlying infection then killing them off with immune suppressing drugs is also killing off the body’s only defense against the infection. Intensive treatment with immune suppressing drugs may help make a patient more comfortable over the short term by suppressing symptoms caused by the overactive white blood cells but instead of leading to remission of the disease, the patient’s life expectancy may be shortened to only a few years because the medications are only addressing symptoms instead of treating an underlying cause.

Once the existence of intra-cellular pathogens is officially admitted then the second step to take towards “a national blood and organ supply that is (screened and) tested for intra-cellular infectious pathogens” would be fairly easy and inexpensive to implement. Changes in the screening of potential donors could be put in place before improved testing of the donated tissue might be possible.

I forgot to include the word screened in the original sentence. The problem with testing for the presence of the intra-cellular pathogens currently is that they are hard to grow and take a long time to grow with standard Petri dish agar cultures. However there is already extensive guidelines for screening blood and organ donors regarding their medical history before they are allowed to donate. If tuberculosis can be spread by carriers who haven’t had symptoms of TB then anyone who is known to have had TB in the past should probably never be allowed to donate blood or organs even if they aren’t actively sick anymore. [7 and atrainceu.com from  the post before the last post] And therefore if the autoimmune disease sarcoidosis, Crohn’s Disease, and Rheumatoid Arthritis all involve similar infectious mechanisms then anyone who has been known to have any of those diseases in the past should also not be allowed to donate blood or organs even if they aren’t actively sick anymore.

A third step towards a safer blood and organ supply would be adding the requirement to test donated tissue for the presence of intra-cellular pathogens. It is possible that advances in DNA screening might solve the problems with how difficult and long it takes to grow cultures of the pathogens. Advances in DNA screening [1] might make it possible eventually to simply screen a sample for the presence of DNA from the Mycobacterium tuberculosis pathogen or from the pathogen that Lida Mattman found involved in RA or Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS) or from her husband’s coronary.  [video  from  the post before the last post] Prof. Mattman was able to cause coronaries in lab animals by exposing them to the unidentified pathogen that she was able to culture from a tissue sample obtained from her husband after he had a coronary heart attack. In the video, ~19:30, her concern about the possibility of coronary disease being contagious was not just for hospital visitors but was also for other hospitalized patients. A healthy visitor might not be as much at risk as an immune compromised patient who is sharing a hospital room with someone who just had a coronary.

Aspergillosis fungal infections are common in patients with advanced HIV/AIDS and in transplant patients on long term immune suppressing drugs but for most people the fungus is a common contaminant that doesn’t lead to an infection because our immune system prevents it from multiplying.  [atrainceu.com and  from the post before the last post] Prof. Marshall’s protocol suggests focusing more on correcting the imbalance in the hormone D metabolism that allows the pathogens to survive intra-cellularly, rather than focusing on which specific pathogens might be present because there might be a mixture of different pathogens who all developed similar ways to invade and survive within human cells. His protocol focuses on restoring the body’s natural immune mechanisms so the healthy white blood cells can identify and destroy cells that are infected with any intra-cellular pathogen whatever type it might be. However his original goal was finding an effective treatment for sarcoidosis so the Benicar as an angiotensin receptor blocker may be effective in sarcoidosis if the pathogen in that disease developed the ability to make infected cells develop extra Angiotensin Receptor’s as a way to disguise themselves as normal cells but the Benicar might not help someone with Grave’s Disease who has bone marrow cells with abnormal Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) Receptors. Someone with Grave’s Disease might need a medication developed that blocks TSH Receptors instead of blocking Angiotensin Receptors.

I have the autoimmune hyperthyroid condition called Grave’s Disease. It involves abnormal bone marrow cells and may be similar to Rheumatoid Arthritis and it is associated with Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS) (19% comorbidity, 4), and the autoimmune dry eye syndrome, Sjögren’s syndrome. [3] Symptoms similar to those of ALS can also be found in patients with advanced HIV/AIDS and Lyme’s Disease, [4], both of which have disease processes that have been shown to interfere with the immune function of the Vitamin D Receptor.  [page 19, 1, from the post before the last post] Currently my thyroid condition is in remission but that is while avoiding gluten and dietary sources of iodine and vitamin D and avoiding too much sun exposure.

We do not have a large number of children with vitamin D deficiency rickets, which suggests to me, that for most people summer sunlight exposure and the current level of fortification of the food supply with vitamin D is adequate. Canada is farther north than most of the United States and yet their population’s average vitamin D level is normal (50 nmol/L). [5, 6] The number of Americans with vitamin D levels below 30 nmol/L increased between a study performed from 1988-1994 (45% > 30nmol/L, n=18,883) and one performed in 2004 (23% > 30nmol/L, n= 13,369) but there is some controversy over whether differences in how the lab test was processed might have skewed the results. [8] My fear is that some of the difference might represent an increase in the number of people with an underlying intra-cellular infection that causes depressed vitamin D levels and elevated hormone D levels rather than truly being deficient in both vitamin D and hormone D.

Hormone D levels are rarely measured because it is a more unstable chemical found in lower concentrations and current medical theory believes that the enzyme needed to convert the inactive form to the active form is only produced by the kidneys — but it is also produced by white blood cells during inflammatory conditions — autoimmune disease and heart disease are inflammatory conditions.

Magnesium deficiency and/or excess intake of calcium may be involved for some individuals. Zinc and B vitamins are also essential as cofactors for converting between the active and inactive forms of vitamin D so malnutrition in general may increase people’s susceptibility to an intracellular infection. Medical marijuana is also a controversial topic because the plant is categorized as not having medical uses at the federal level but within the healthy body different types of cannabinoids are made for use within membranes and as messenger chemicals. Genetic defects, older age, or malnutrition may prevent some individuals from making the cannabinoids internally. Hemp and some other foods in addition to the marijuana plant also can be an external source of cannabinoids but the amount and types produced may depend somewhat on the fertility of the soil.

I have tried to share this information because it could help improve health and quality of life for many people and reduce the amount of money and supplies being used for ineffective health care. We can’t afford health care that might be making individuals worse and may be spreading disease within contaminated blood, organs, or through procedures and screening tools that don’t recognize that more conditions may be contagious through blood-borne routes than was previously recognized.

While I do not have a PhD I do have a Bachelor’s Degree in Administrative and Clinical Dietetics and fifteen years of public health education experience. Selling products at a profit is not something I have experience at, giving away free health information, possibly along with a motivating freebie as an incentive, is where I do have professional experience.

Another famous quote has been a motivating force for me since I first got concerned about the controversy over vitamin D in 2010:

“And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” – President John F. Kennedy,  Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961 [9]

So, my  fellow Americans and any other readers: chances are if you don’t have rickets and do use some dairy products and breakfast cereals regularly, then you probably don’t have a deficiency of vitamin D but if your levels are below 20 nmol/L then you may have an intra-cellular infection. The possibility of an infection might seem like bad news but it is more informative than “We don’t know what causes your disease or how to cure it but we would love for you to take our side-effect inducing medications until you die or until we find a cure, whichever comes first, thanks so much for being a good sport about it in the meantime.

And the good news would be that the olmesartan/Benicar and antibiotic protocol might be an effective treatment for the underlying cause if an intracellular pathogen was involved in your symptoms. At this stage of research it is not the standard treatment that a general practitioner would be likely to have heard of let alone recommend, but you can look into the protocol and talk to your physician about it yourself. The Marshall Protocol Knowledge Base provides information for patients and for physicians regarding the science behind the protocol and provides guidance for the patient and for the prescribing physician regarding prescriptions, timing of doses, side effects to watch for and other precautions.

Personally I was thrilled to get rid of my severe migraine problem with the use of olmesartan, antibiotics, and avoiding vitamin D foods and supplements and avoiding much time spent in bright sunlight — it wasn’t easy but the migraines were much worse. I was on the medication protocol for a year and half and had been having weekly migraines for over a decade — I was more than thrilled for myself I was thrilled for everyone else who might have migraines or might be tired of hearing “we don’t know what causes your autoimmune disease or how to cure it.” Migraines aren’t autoimmune disease but they can be a symptom of other conditions and more recently I have been diagnosed with autoimmune thyroid disease which can go back and forth between hypo- and hyper- phases for some patients.

More research is needed but a lot of research has occurred if you’re willing to go read more about it yourself. [mpkb.org]

Tangent: I’ve tried to share this information in the past because I believe it is necessary for public health and economic health and environmental health. Medications that have harsh side effects on human health are also likely to have harsh side effects on the environment. Anything we are pouring in our bodies or on our agricultural fields is likely to eventually reach the ground water supply or the ocean where increasing acidity is already beginning to affect the ability of shellfish to form shells – the shell material dissolves in higher acidity.

And so, my fellow Americans:  Yes, I had a Presidential campaign website in 2012 because I was as serious as a heart attack about my fears regarding our nation’s health and our food supply. The nutrient guidelines are used to make meals and formulas for people who may be incapable of eating to appetite. If the guidelines are not correct than the meals and formula nutrient balance may lead to chronic nutrient deficiencies. All the nutrients work together somewhat so research that only looks at vitamin D alone or calcium alone may be missing deficiencies of magnesium or zinc  or B vitamins or cannabinoids. Our government is responsible for meals for the military and for school children and people living in residential facilities who are on Medicaid or Medicare and for prisoners. the government doesn’t directly set nutrient guidelines but could probably fund research if the elected officials were working towards that goal.

I never claimed to be experienced in politics and there would be little point in my trying to get involved at the local level because nutrient and medical policies are made at the federal level and may be implemented at federal, state and local levels. My credibility and reputation have suffered some setbacks since I started writing online in 2010 but there is unlikely to be another person available who has had my combination of personal and professional health experiences — and so, my fellow Americans: if there are any of you who would like to vote for me in 2016 for President of the United States then I would do my best if elected to help our country become a healthier country which would likely help make it a wealthier country as well.

My campaign slogan was also serious: “A vote for me is probably a bad idea, but a vote for magnesium is a good idea.” I was trying to be clear that I know that I’m not a good role model for normal social skills or skilled at political networking and fundraising, but that I firmly believe that my nutrition platform is very important for the long term economic and physiologic health of our nation. Whether I’m married or divorced,* or how wealthy or broke I am, would probably not make any difference to a person suffering from Crohn’s Disease or ALS or RA or TB or sarcoidosis or HIV/AIDS.

So I’ll get FEC Form 2 filed before I receive $5000 in campaign contributions or within the next 15 days, whichever comes first.  😉 That is an attempt at humor – I don’t expect to raise $5000 in contributions. The other reason that I ran for office was in protest of the Citizens United decision, so I was running as a write-in candidate in 2012 and hadn’t been aware of FEC Form 2 — I think voters should be able to vote for someone who isn’t underwritten by corporations and billionaires.

*I’ll let you know if my name changes again before Nov. 2016. I’m hitting Publish – with my fingers crossed that it works, but I also made a copy just in case. *The website’s software was due for an update — note to self: always update software as soon as prompted.

/Update: I didn’t fill out the FEC Form 2 or FEC Form 1 which I learned of once I started reading the instructions. The forms are only required if a candidate’s campaign expenditures or donations are reaching or exceeding $5000. I wrote more about this topic:

  • What’s a chad? or Confession is said to be good for the soulAugust 24, 2015.
  • Secretary of Health and Human Services, an additional note, and Fringe Topic: Parvo VirusAugust 31, 2015.

Caring a lot is important but so is experience and good health and I have limited supplies of both of those – I will continue to care and will post updates on health or other topics as I learn more.

/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

Fringe reports; Elevated hormone D levels and irritability

I found an interesting article about mainstream media while looking for the source of a quote by Ted Koppel. I didn’t find the source of the quote but it is included towards the end of the article “A citizens guide to understanding corporate media propaganda techniques,” by George Orwell for earthblognews, Jan. 9, 2010:

“People shouldn’t expect the mass media to do investigative stories. That job belongs to the ‘fringe’ media.” – Ted Koppel – (American broadcast journalist, best known as the anchor for Nightline) [1]

A book that also included the quote by Ted Koppel also states that most newspapers do take his “advice seriously,” and the chapter continues with a quote by politician Donald Rumsfeld which may suggest that sensible people in positions to know things also know enough not to talk to the media. And on the next page a quote by Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the U.S., gives the impression that a lack of information in newspapers has been a concern for many years: “The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.” [3, from the first two pages of Chapter Six of “Extreme Money: The Masters of the Universe and the Cult of Risk,” By Satyajit Das]

So news may not become news in the mainstream media until the subject is already being talked about by enough members of the public to suggest to the mainstream media that there will be plenty of viewers who are interested enough in the news story to be willing to sit through paid advertisements. Commercial advertisements and product placement fees are what pay for salaries and supplies for the news industry. Cigarette commercials were banned from television when the negative health risks became clear but it took decades for the change to occur. Cigarettes were advertised with physician endorsements and images of beautiful people in beautiful places – smoking was represented as sexy and smart by the popular media for many decades before the health risks became overwhelmingly clear.

Direct to consumer advertising for prescription medications is only allowed in two nations, in New Zealand since 1981 and in the United States since 1997. There is some concern that commercials for prescription drugs may lead to their being over prescribed to consumers who may not need the medication but who became worried enough by the ad to ask their physician for a prescription.  [4] I would also be concerned that allowing ads for prescriptions might have led to changes in the programs as well. Producers might encourage writers to incorporate more prescription drug references within TV shows in order to sell more commercial time to the companies who market the prescription medications.

The use of the non-euphoric cannabidiol oil (CBD) that can be extracted from some strains of medical marijuana has been found very effective for some children with severe types of epilepsy. Children may have seizures non-stop for hours regularly for years and may have tried many prescriptions that may cause their own negative side effects. More parents and young adults are speaking out about the effectiveness and safety of the CBD oil for seizures. Parents can lose custody of their children for helping the child use medical cannabis products and parents may also lose custody if it becomes known that they are using medical marijuana for their own health condition. One of the parents  in the following article lost custody of her child when it became publicly known that she was using medical marijuana to help control her Crohn’s Disease, which is an autoimmune inflammatory bowel condition. [2] THC, the euphoric part of medical marijuana has been found helpful for suppressing inflammation which might be helpful for autoimmune conditions with inflammation such as colitis. [3]

Crohn’s Disease was one of the autoimmune conditions listed in yesterday’s post as a disease that may be caused by an infectious bacteria that may be able to survive within human cells and cause elevated hormone D levels.

As a high risk nutrition counselor I have learned professionally about the difficulty patients suffer from Crohn’s Disease. It is an inflammatory bowel disease that can greatly shorten lifespan and can be so devastating to quality of life that patients may not leave their house much in order to stay near a bathroom. During flair ups a patient may have explosive diarrhea randomly throughout the day many times. Severe weight loss and multiple nutrient deficiencies due to poor absorption in the intestines can occur. Shortened lifespan is common, patients may not make it to their fifties. So if Benicar, antibiotics, and avoiding vitamin D could help patients with Crohn’s Disease go from a disease flair up into a state of remission, then I think most patients with Crohn’s Disease would really like to know about the treatment earlier in their lives rather than suffer many uncomfortable years first.

But health professionals can’t really legally/ethically make recommendations to patients about an alternative protocol until it becomes accepted by the mainstream medical industry. Until a therapy is widely accepted as the standard of care it would be considered potentially dangerous for a health professional to recommend and therefore unethical for them to recommend. A health professional would be less at risk legally or ethically if they simply were providing information to a patient so the patient could look into it and learn more about it on their own.

So according to the quote by Ted Koppel reporting on the news is the job of fringe investigators – and so my work may fall into that category too. In the last post I tried to share what could be life saving information about autoimmune disease and the complicated interaction of vitamin D, hormone D, calcium and magnesium .)

So is there something in it for me? Not directly — talking about topics that aren’t mainstream can be dangerous for one’s career. Fact checking the work of the fringe is probably part of the job of the mainstream and it can be common to try to discredit alternative information with the publication of negatively slanted stories. [1]

But to me it would be great if more experts and more individuals did become interested in looking into the information and maybe add further understanding and research, and then maybe sooner than later we would  develop a national blood and organ supply that is tested for intracellular infectious pathogens; and develop clear guidance about the importance of measuring both hormone D and vitamin D levels in order to clearly see which patients are actually deficient in both the vitamin and hormone forms and would therefore need to increase their sun exposure or their intake of vitamin D and which patients actually have elevated hormone D levels instead of being deficient. Low vitamin D levels with elevated hormone D levels may suggest the person has an underlying infection with an intracellular pathogen and that person would actually benefit more by limiting their sun exposure and their intake of vitamin D – and they might be able to treat the underlying infection with Benicar and antibiotics.

I’ve written about this topic for several years because I know from my own illness how uncomfortable it is to have even moderately elevated levels of hormone D. It causes increased loss of calcium from the bones and can lead to osteoporosis over time, and excess free calcium in soft tissue can cause muscle cramps and headaches in the short run and lead to calcification of soft tissue over time, such as atherosclerosis, a type of hardening of the arteries. Elevated hormone D can also affect the mood and may cause extreme irritability – I learned about this directly one summer when I tried tanning booths for the first time. It was before I had learned about the Marshall Protocol or had my own vitamin D and hormone D levels checked. I got a nice all over tan but that summer I was irritated at everything, like silly minor things like rattling-silverware-noise or seconds-too-slow-wait-service, things that I wouldn’t normally be annoyed about. I recognized the feelings weren’t real anger and did my best not to let my internal irritable mood leak out to others.

I learned about the vitamin D/infection theory later that year and after sharing the research with my family physician I was able to follow the Marshall Protocol with his help. I took medications for the treatment for a year and a half and since then I haven’t had the severe migraines that I’d been having regularly for over a decade. I’ve continued to avoid having much sun exposure though and avoiding vitamin D sources since and my autoimmune thyroid condition is currently in remission, thank goodness and thank search engines which had led me to the medication protocol in the first place.

The Marshall Protocol was first developed for treating sarcoidosis but has been used successfully for a variety of conditions. It is still not widely accepted in the medical industry but progress has been made; the FDA did approve use of the blood pressure medication for use with the antibiotic protocol, making it easier for physicians to order for patients who want to try the protocol. [See the last post for more information about the Marshall Protocol and vit.D]

Note/ Updates added at 2 and 3 pm. The save Draft feature hasn’t been working well and Publish is a different software feature that allows edits after posting.

/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./